Common Challenges Personal Assistants Face – Part 2

Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 by Top London PANo comments

In the first part of our look at the challenges faced by PAs, we talked about how to handle making a mistake, how to bounce back from it, and what to do if you encounter a hostile working environment. In this second part, our PA recruitment agency looks at two more common challenges for PAs: managing the boundary between personal and professional lives and how to maintain a positive attitude. It’s vital that any PA knows how to manage these challenges.

The boundary between personal and professional lives

As a PA, you not only need to navigate the boundary between your work and home life, you often need to navigate it on your executive’s behalf as well. The nature of a PA’s role is such that it’s not unusual to need to answer an email from a boss in a different time zone or arrange your executive’s dry cleaning.

Without clear boundaries, however, it’s easy to get burnt out.

  • Be clear: Make sure you’re clear about what is and isn’t okay in your books. If something can wait until working hours, let it wait.
  • Learn to say no: Take on reasonable extra tasks, but don’t be afraid to say no if something’s genuinely beyond your remit and taking it on would compromise your effectiveness in other areas.
  • Be honest: Speak to your executive about any difficulties managing boundaries between home and work. Help them see what it’s like on the ground for you.
  • Manage time effectively: By being a time management pro, you can manage your personal and professional boundaries more easily.
  • Have time out: As a PA, it’s important to ensure you have some uninterrupted time each week. Ring-fence your time off and make sure you won’t be disturbed.

    Maintaining a positive attitude

    Without wishing to be too stereotypical, PAs are generally excellent at having a positive disposition; it blends harmoniously with the professionalism the role requires. However, even the sunniest of characters can struggle to maintain a positive attitude when situations are difficult. In reality, PAs do have days where they’re irritated by a particular colleague, a supplier is proving to be a headache, or a host of other reasons. To keep a positive attitude:

  • Be constructive: Moaning for the sake of it isn’t helpful. Consider what you can do. It will help to shake off any irritations.
  • Focus on solutions: If it’s a problem that’s getting you down, then shift focus from the issue to the solution. You’ll be more productive and feel better.
  • Be positive: Yes, just fake it until you believe it. If you’re still struggling, then go and have a chat with an unrelentingly positive person. It’ll help.
  • Time out: Walk away, go grab a cuppa, and perhaps take a quick walk around the block. You’ll come back feeling more cheery.

Sometimes it’s necessary to dig deeper into why you’re struggling to find a positive attitude. If it’s workplace-related, and the situation is difficult to change, then it may be time to move on to a different role. There are lots of PA jobs in London available. Call our PA recruitment agency on 020 7870 7177 to find a role that brings out your smile again.

  

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